Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth. They are typically used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth. Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve a cosmetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.

Procedure: A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. A cast is made of the existing tooth and an impression is made. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.

closeup of a smiling woman

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a full coverage restoration that sits over a tooth (think of it like a winter hat covering a person’s head). A crowns function is to restore a tooth back to function, shape and most importantly, strength. A crown is indicated when a tooth has a crack or is broken, has a root canal, has a large filling that is contracting away from the natural tooth margins, a front tooth is discolored or misshapen, can close gaps if front teeth have gaps, or to restore a dental implant.

Types of crowns:


: Zirconia is a tooth-colored material we recommend for back teeth (your premolars and molars). Zirconia offers tooth colored esthetics plus incredible strength, in fact Zirconia has 10 times the strength as our natural enamel enabling it to handle any chewing load and be incredibly fracture resistant.

Layered Zirconia

: Layered Zirconia is Zirconia layered with porcelain. We recommend these for front teeth if you are a heavy clencher or grinder. This combines the strength of Zirconia with the esthetics of porcelain.


: Emax crowns are recommended for front teeth if you are not a heavy clencher or grinder. The esthetics Emax offers are unmatched, this material allows translucency similar to our natural front teeth, in addition to durability.


: Porcelain-fused to metal (PFM) crowns are metal crowns with porcelain layered on top of the metal. Ever see someone with a metal color at the bottom of their teeth near their gumline? Likely they have a PFM crown. PFM crowns used to be very popular but have fallen out of fashion as the strength and esthetics offered by Emax and Zirconia crowns have increased in popularity.


: These are still an option! Ask your dentist if you are interested in gold. Gold options are white gold, or yellow gold.

Dental Crown Process steps:


A dental crown is a 2 appointment process. First appointment we will prepare the tooth for the crown by removing any damaged tooth structure and reshaping the tooth so the crown can fit on top without affecting your bite.


Next, we will scan your mouth and send the scan to the lab- just ask if you want to see the scan of your mouth, most patients think it’s cool! After the first appointment you will leave the office in a temporary crown.


About 1-2 weeks later depending on the material you choose; you will return to the office so the permanent crown can be cemented.

After care for a Dental Crown

After care for a dental crown is the same as a natural crown, brush your teeth at least twice per dat (gently), floss daily, and see your hygienist twice per year for a professional cleaning. Maintaining good oral hygiene is still important for teeth with crowns because the natural tooth structure remaining can still develop decay if not properly cared for.

Dental Crown vs. Dental Implant

Dental crowns are meant to protect your natural teeth, while implant crowns are meant to restore implants (enable you to chew on your implant). A dental crown is cemented onto your tooth, while an implant crown is often screwed into an implant.

Dental Crown Risks

Dental crowns are great alternatives to restorations because they are biocompatible and unlike filling material, the crown and most cements are BPA free. However, risks remain in any dental procedure. Risks associated with crowns include damage to the tooth or surrounding teeth during the procedure, allergic reaction to materials during procedure or in the cement, loss of crown.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are Dental Bridges created?

Dental Bridges can be used to create a lifelike replacement for a missing tooth. This is done with bridgework, which spans the space of the missing tooth and requires at least three crowns. Two of those crowns will be placed over healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth; these healthy teeth are referred to as abutment teeth. The two crowned abutment teeth become supports for a third crown placed in between them; that third crown is referred to as a pontic. If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns will be needed to bridge the gap in between the abutment teeth. The number of abutment teeth necessary to replace missing teeth is influenced by the number of missing teeth, the size and length of the abutment tooth roots, the amount of bone support each abutment tooth has, as well as where in the mouth the missing tooth is located. For example, if you have three missing teeth, four abutment teeth may be necessary, thereby creating a seven-tooth bridge. Engineering and designing of the bridge requires an understanding of how to replace teeth, as well as the biology of the supporting gum and bone tissue.

How long do crowns last?

A crown can last forever if cared for properly. Make sure to brush at least twice per day, floss daily and see your hygienist twice per year for a professional cleaning. Sometimes if you are a heavy clencher or grinder, just like natural teeth can break a crown may fracture and need replacement. Similarly, if the natural tooth structure remaining under the crown gets decay, the crown may also need replacement.

How Do I Care for my Crowns & Bridgework?

Crowns and bridgework require the same conscientious care as your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss between all of your teeth — restored and natural — every day to reduce the buildup of dental plaque. When you have crowns, it is even more important to maintain your regular schedule of cleanings at the dental office. Avoid using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example). If you have a grinding habit, wearing a nightguard would be a good idea to protect your teeth and your investment.

Do dental crowns hurt?

Your dentist will make sure to get you numb so you do not feel the procedure. Sometimes post op soreness can occur for a few days as your mouth gets used to the new crown.

How much are dental crowns?

The cost of a dental crown varies based on type of crown and your insurance coverage. Don’t have insurance? No problem! Call us and ask about our in-house insurance plan. Not interested in our in-house insurance either? No problem, we have flat rates for uninsured patients as well. We also accept Care Credit and multiple other payment plans.

Schedule your appointment now

Contact Us

Please contact us with any questions that you may have and a staff member will get back to you shortly.

Our Regular Schedule